The growing importance of Perimeter security for Commercial and Industrial sites.
Industrial area security is becoming a major issue for all involved. Many industrial and commercial sites are run by a separate management company with experience in running large scale sites with multiple occupying tenants of various sizes and different industries.
The managing agents themselves have a huge task. They need to make sure the site is fully occupied whilst receiving the best rental/contract prices they can secure for the longest period of time. They need to keep all costs down while managing all site issues, contracts, accounts, queries, complaints, payments, roadways, landscaping, street lighting, gates, fencing repairs etc., and one of the worst and hardest areas for them to work on is – Site security.
Today’s sites are now more than likely hold tens of millions of pounds of stock and hundreds of millions of pounds of business. Yes, the individual business owner will have their own business insurance, but they will still look at the managing agent to look after the security on site in order to ‘hopefully prevent’ any possible break ins or thefts to their own property.
But how do agents do this?
They may put up a gate house with manned security, but for many hours per week? How many shifts? Who designs the security protocols and ensures they are followed? What are the costs involved?
They may put in security fencing around the whole site, generally they will always go for the cheapest which could be the normal 2.4mtr high steel palisade fencing, with entrance gates.
But at some stage there will be a break in on-site and now the general discussion will be that a site CCTV system is required.
So, the decision is then made to bring in several local CCTV companies in to design and supply quotations for the supply and installation of a site CCTV camera system along with costs for sensors and a form of monitoring.
The quote arrives and everyone falls off their chairs, the questions then start – “How much? Can we have smaller cameras, can we reduce the number of cameras, what about if we do this and we do that? Can we remove the onsite monitoring, would it be cheaper to do it on our phones?” Sound’s familiar doesn’t it.
So eventually the agent decides that the ‘best system’ (will be ultimately based on the cheapest cost not on quality or design elements), will be installed. The purchase order is supplied and the system is installed. After a while everyone is happy that they now have CCTV on-site, but what happens after several months? Does anyone see a system? Did you look at any cameras on the way into work today? I doubt it very much.
Did you know that: Recent reviews have found that CCTV cameras do not deter crime? They are only recording the actual event. The footage will then very rarely be used by the Police due to poor system design.
These site cameras have become invisible, to everyone involved. But even more importantly does the potential thief worry about cameras? Oh no, because he knows how to get around it? He pulls his hood over his head because he knows everyone puts cheap systems in place. He knows they will not detect him as cheap sensors have been installed and as it is raining tonight they will give false activations and people will ignore them, he knows that the cameras are so small they will not be able to see him at that distance and also the units have integral infra-red lights they will never cover the area in a million years. But the agent was never told this when he accepted the cheapest price.
So, after his heist in someone’s building, he disappears with some goodies, but he has left footage on a number of cameras which show him walking away. Is he worried? No, as the Police will not be able to do anything with the footage anyway as the system wasn’t designed in accordance with the sites security requirements.
The following day, chaos takes over in the tenants building and also the agents office and also the poor old security guard is receiving a roasting because he didn’t see anything, so he must have been asleep! – but why?
This is because the someone who authorised the works is not a security specialist, their job is to reduce project costs, so they put pressure on the CCTV company to reduce the price. The company reduces its price as they are desperate for the job, what happens ultimately is the introduction of a cheap poor-quality surveillance system will ultimately increase long term costs and increase problems.
We can imagine the future conversations in the agent’s office “Let’s look at improving the CCTV system with more up to date higher resolution CCTV cameras, (because someone told them that), let’s install larger sensors on taller masts and get costs at putting up higher fences”. The vicious circle will go around and around again as the agent will only speak to people they know, who will only give them the same answers each time and the security will not improve.
But once the quotations start coming in again…….!!
So, what can be done to improve these ongoing problems?
We say, Work on the perimeter. Consider installing a perimeter detection system. It is a system that could bring everything you already have on-site working together to work as an integrated system. It may be a simple sensor cable that is attached to the existing fencing system. It may be a buried sensor that detects footfall or vehicles for areas that do not have fencing in place. It may be positioned laser scanners that are set to monitor an area and will activate once something enters into a monitored area.
The area could be monitored by radar which activates a long-range CCTV camera which has been located to cover numerous areas of a site rather than having dozens of cameras and complicated site infrastructure.
If someone then attempts to cut, climb, dig or lift the fence, the fence itself will sense the intrusion and send the detection to a control module which could activate security lights, sirens, a warning voice box, or an automated CCTV camera which operates within the activated location, so everything is now automated, instant and responsive.
The aim of a perimeter monitoring system is to:
- Remove any potential human error from site monitoring
- Never allow a potential intruder to reach a building
- Detect the individual immediately at the perimeter
- Deter him by creating a warning that he has been noticed before he enters the area
- Divert him away from the perimeter
A site covering dozens of acres can now be simply monitored by accurate and effective perimeter security solutions just by adding a perimeter intruder detection system (PIDS) to your existing fence system and bringing your on-site CCTV into operation.
The site can then be easily monitored by on-site security personnel or remotely of site without the fear of people sneaking up to buildings and causing you chaos the following day.